House Ways and Means Chairman and Texas Republican Kevin Brady, along with Utah Republican and Senate Finance Chair Orrin Hatch, suggested in recent comments that the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement may still have life in a lame duck Congress. But House Speaker Paul Ryan is not changing his tune regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Ryan, who controls the agenda, has already said the TPP needs fixes that will take time and he wouldn’t comment on the Brady and Hatch suggestions.
“I have nothing to add more than I’ve already said. Nothing new to say on TPP,” Ryan said.
The debate is central to the campaigns for President, with both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump opposing the agreement.
Secretary of State John Kerry recently warned Congress that delaying a TPP vote will severely damage U.S. leadership and credibility in Asia while losing ground to China. Speaker Ryan essentially scoffed at the notion.
“If you’re talking about damaging U.S. leadership in the world, look at the Obama administration’s foreign policy. I rest my case on that.”
Farm groups have echoed Secretary Kerry’s view that the U.S. cannot withdraw from TPP and not suffer. TPP partners would expectedly move on to make other trade deals without the United States.